Red Moon in the Night Sky

Written: 16 July, 1999

[When I originally posted this on a board, I had titled it "Putting Some Things in Perspective."]

I really don't like my job (basically a minimum wage retail thing) but sometimes dislike it more than other times. It's funny how one day I can be sitting in the breakroom and telling someone that really, much as I complain about the job, it's not so bad, and it's great that it's within like 10 minutes walking distance of my house.

But another day (like today) a manager will tell me to do something and I will feel so stressed-out and really feel like quitting. Like today, I expected to close out half the department and the person working with me would close out the other half. Then, an hour before I'm scheduled to leave, my manager tells me that she has my partner doing something else instead so she wants me to close both sides. Which just involves making sure everything looks right (and all my returns are done), but it's a Friday night and customers will still be tearing the place up when I leave. And I have to get a "walk-thru" by the manager before I can leave. I say I will do my best, but I feel like I'm being taken advantage of. She knows I can close out both sides because I've done it in the past, but man does it wear me out, and I usually have to stay after my scheduled time to go home. She noted that my vacation starts next week, so apparently she was implying that my working extra hard tonight would not be so bad because I wouldn't have to work at all next week. Whatever.

Anyway, so I get out there and start to close the other side of the department (it's technically another department), and really grumbling inside. My face probably didn't show how angry I was. And this kind of thing has happened several times before and I've felt the same way, feel like quitting, hating the manager's guts (even though she is a nice lady actually), regretting having ever signed a "Get Well" card for her, imagining telling her that I hated her guts, etc.

Then I tried to think of that "what Would Jesus Do" thing....

Well, I didn't actually think of what Jesus would do, but rather what he might say. And I recall how he had said that if your enemy tells you to walk one mile, walk two, or something like that. But what good is it, I thought, if your just taken advantage of again & again? If they know you can walk two miles, they'll expect you next time to walk two miles, and then you should walk four? Where does it end?

Well, I got the job done, but some customers still needed help on the sales floor, so even though it was time for me to go home, I helped them. (And noticed that my partner, who had been doing something my manager wanted done, had finished that and already punched out.) Well, I was only a few minutes over, and then I left, feeling exhausted. I thought about how maybe I should not even show up for work tomorrow (my last day before week's vacation), but I knew that would just punish the person I'm scheduled to work with tomorrow. Just one more day of that stinkin' job and then I don't have to go in for a week. Wahoo!!

As I was walking home, I noticed the sky. All that could be seen of the moon was a sliver, which strangely was red. There is no doubt some excellent scientific reason for why the moon appeared red tonight, but apart from that scientific reason, I felt a kind of symbolism there. I thought about how small my problems were. The red reminded me of blood, and since I'd been thinking about WWJD, I suddenly thought about what Jesus had done, something undisputed regardless of one's religion: Jesus was crucified. While I was grumbling about feeling stressed out, Jesus shed his blood and experienced agony and humiliation a hundredfold of what I've ever experienced. And then there was another symbolic meaning, which was the possibility that Jesus had died for my sins, which I still don't know what to think of. But it was a powerful symbol I saw tonight.